Barclays intends to return to the Russian market. Foreign banks aren’t allowed to operate in Russia but Barclays is so eager to selflessly help customers around the world that it’s found a way to circumvent the rule: buying Russian companies that already have banking licenses.
This is not the first time Barclays has entered the Russian market, but it had left the country after having lost a quarter billion pounds during the 1998 debt default crisis. Financial analysts worried about a looming consumer debt crisis in Russia may find Barclays renewed foray puzzling, but the company is guided by people who seem to be at the top of their game…
Not only has it recently hired Frederik (Frits) Seegers, who successfully built Citigroup’s network of retail branches in Russia, as head of global retail banking operations, but Barclays’ chairman is none other than Hans-Jorg Rudloff – who is also on the board of Rosneft.
Combining Russian experience on the ground and at the management level may just prove to be a winning strategy for Barclays.
It seems Barclays really is the bank of choice for those who don’t want a silly thing like the law to get in the way of more money.